This year, for the first time, we've got a Secret Santa. They (he, she?) have brought us something for all of the 12 days of Christmas so far, and we've certainly enjoyed their gifts. They've been pretty creative, giving us donuts, candy canes, candles, jokes, marshmallows and roasting forks, you name it. We've had hot cocoa and chex mix and chocolate bars for days, which we've loved.
After we gave out the office Christmas gifts we discussed before, we got a few from people we hadn't anticipated, so we had to come up with some additional gifts. Enter fudge because it's quick and easy and tasty and packs well. But I thought my standard rocky road fudge wasn't quite festive enough, so I decided to experiment. I crushed some candy canes (thanks again, secret Santas!) and mixed them into my fudge base and sprinkled some on the top as garnish (Top Chef has taught me that you need to garnish in a way that hints at the flavors going on in the dish, of course). The experiment is the secret, because no one wants to think their gift was the trial batch, but the flavors worked well together, and I called it a success.
I've been searching the web for recipe ideas for Christmas dinner, since we're bringing the sides/dessert to our little shindig. So far, I've decided on tangy green beans with bacon (of course), spinach salad with chutney dressing, cranberry jello mold, and the ever popular pumpkin gingerbread trifle. I may also, if I'm feeling adventuresome, make my mom's rolls, because it isn't quite the holidays without "none better" rolls, though this is my first attempt and they involve yeast, my arch nemesis, so they may be a total flop. Shhh, if we don't tell anyone, they'll never know!
Our Christmas will be small this year, what with the economic downturn and our whole new piles of bills and just one paycheck and our upcoming visit to London, so we're lucky Baby J is also small and will hardly remember anything! As I think I mentioned before, I got him a play kitchen (because he loves them, through no efforts of my own) and a microwave that came with food, which I am secretly thinking of opening so I can use the food to fill his stocking. Just in time, I almost finished his stocking yesterday and just need to put a few finishing touches on today with the glue gun before it goes up.
And, the biggest secret of all? The goose is getting fat!